Ah, retirement homes. In an ideal world, they're a place where we'd live out our final days in luxury, receiving first-class medical care while living in a quasi-hotel. And while that's definitely the aim, writing as a former retirement home worker, the reality couldn't be more different. To begin with, people in their twilight years are notoriously grumpy, and when a group of random pensioners are put together, conflicts inevitably arise, especially if the majority are suffering from degenerative diseases.
Obviously, I'm biased, but the people who work in retirement homes don't get nearly enough credit for what they do. Running a retirement home is no mean feat, it's no secret that maintenance and medical staff are extortionate, and unfortunately, that means that the carers on the front line are usually underpaid, but despite this, the majority do a fantastic job.
Case in point, this young care home worker who taught senior citizens this incredible dance routine:
Sure, things could be better, but unless you've got the kind of budget possessed by the likes of an aging celebrity, you'll just have to make do with a standard retirement home and hope you get one as incredible as the Milton Lodge.
Located in Essex, England, the home granted a rather unusual wish of its elderly female residents: they wanted to be served a three-course meal by butlers in the buff. And even though it wasn't a standard Grandma request, the staff made it happen.
There were 23 guests at the event - 11 of whom were residents at the retirement home. Claire Martin, activities co-coordinator at Milton Lodge, revealed that 89-year-old resident Joan Corp was the brains behind the, um, buff.
She said: "Whenever you ask Joan what she wants that day she always says 'a man'. So we weren't surprised when she wanted it to be her wish."
"We had a chat here and everyone was really keen to support it. We had a look online and found a company called Hunks in Trunks.
"We asked them to do some harmless flirting, it doesn't matter how old you are, so why not?" Martin continued.
The oldest resident present at the dinner was 99-year-old Doll Jenkins, who was so impressed with the butlers in the buff that she's asked for them to come back for her 100th birthday.
Martin added: "The ladies were really excited, they had all been giggling and they dressed up."
Resident Gladas Smith, aged 82, said: "I had the front seat. It made quite a change and the boys done well. It was a good evening."
After dinner, the ladies were treated to a massage from the butlers too - talk about getting pampered!
Martin said: "They all had a massage, the butlers went around asking the ladies if they wanted a massage and they all said yes."
"After it had all finished, Doll told the staff she wanted them back for her 100th birthday, so we are going to have them back.
"They didn't stop laughing the whole night, they absolutely loved it."
By now you're probably wondering why 89-year-old Joan Corp's wish was granted. After all, there aren't many retirement homes out there where the residents get spoiled like this! And it turns out that it's all thanks to a Sparkle initiative, which sees staff raise money to grant the wishes of residents. And IMO, these staff are not only great at raising money but spending it too.
In a world where the aging population is growing by the day, this story is a testament to the fact that you're never too old to have fun. Many of the people I cared for felt like they'd passed their best, especially as they were no longer living independently, but at the end of the day, as long as you're laughing, it's still completely possible to live a fulfilled life - regardless of how old you are!